Battery specialists BMZ Group, Custom Cells Itzehoe, EAS Batteries, Leclanché and Liacon are participating in an initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) called “Forschungsfabrik Batterie” (FFB), that is German for the research battery factory.
Ultimately aiming for battery cell production on an industrial scale, the FFB will have two major divisions, making up a research section and an industrial section. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is responsible for planning and construction, while the industrial consortium will play its part in the development and scaling of new battery cell production technologies.
The initiative’s declaration of intent outlines using demo production lines after the research phase, to then win investors and customers by showing them close to large-scale production facilities. Moreover, the industrialisation platform will then enable the rapid establishment of German cell production.
However, the agreement is not yet a starting signal, but “serves as a binding basis for further talks with the BMBF and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and for gaining further cell manufacturers as partners for the initially open consortium,” according to a joint announcement. That being said, the plan is to select a location for the new facility by the middle of the year, after which the construction phase can begin.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has pooled project activities under its umbrella concept of a “Forschungsfabrik Batterie” (German for battery research factory) and has promised to invest a further 500 million euros over the next four years “in order to secure Germany’s technological sovereignty in battery technology”. This financing aims to benefit the entire value chain – from materials research and the design of cells and processes, to production research and industrial battery cell production.
In the view of Minister Anja Karliczek, the main aim of “research production of battery cells” is to accelerate the transfer of new battery concepts and production processes into practice. Also, companies would have the opportunity to test their battery concepts for suitability regarding mass production.